ASH Minority Recruitment Initiative Seeks Mentors, ASH Joins in Support of the Federal Safe Step Act, and more

Mentors Needed for ASH Minority Recruitment Initiative

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) Minority Recruitment Initiative (MRI), which was created nearly two decades ago to increase the number of underrepresented minorities training in hematology-related fields and minority hematologists with academic and research appointments, is looking for ASH members who would like to serve as career development mentors. The two MRI programs seeking volunteer mentors are as follows:

  • Minority Medical Student Award Program
    This program is designed to offer an introductory mentored biomedical research experience to students in medical school.
  • Minority Resident Hematology Award Program
    This program provides support for minority resident physicians in an internal medicine, pathology, or pediatric residency program to conduct hematology-focused research.

Volunteer mentors provide positive role modeling and long-term professional and career development guidance to awardees.

Learn more at hematology.org/awards/minority-recruitment.


ASH Joins in Support of the Federal Safe Step Act

ASH recently joined more than 100 organizations in support of the Safe Step Act of 2021, a piece of U.S. legislation that amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to require that group health plans provide an exception process for any medication step therapy protocol. While step therapy can help control spending on patients’ medications, it can also have negative effects on patients, including delayed access to the most effective treatment, severe side effects, and irreversible disease progression.

In an effort to improve step therapy protocols and ensure patients are able to safely and efficiently access the best treatment for them, the bill:

  • Establishes a clear exemption process
  • Outlines five exceptions to fail first protocols:
    1. Patient already tried and failed on the required drug.
    2. Delayed treatment will cause irreversible consequences.
    3. Required drug will cause harm to the patient.
    4. Required drug will prevent a patient from working or fulfilling basic personal everyday activities.
    5. Patient is stable on their current medication.
  • Requires a group health plan respond to an exemption request within 72 hours in all circumstances, and 24 hours if the patient’s life is at risk.

Learn about this and other ASH advocacy efforts at hematology.org/advocacy.


Editorial Honors Presented to ASH Clinical News

ASH Clinical News (ACN) is the proud recipient of national and regional gold Azbee Awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, as well as two Communicator Awards from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts.

The Azbee National Gold Award and Mid-Atlantic Regional Gold Award were presented to a series of editorials, published in August and December 2020, by previous ACN editor-in-chief David Steensma, MD. In “The Zoombie Apocalypse,” Dr. Steensma bemoaned the epidemic of videoconferencing marathons that became the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic. In his final Editor’s Corner, “Running on Empty,” he wrote about exhaustion, grief, and gratitude as the year 2020 drew to a close.

Additionally, the Communicator Award of Distinction was granted to “Medicine’s New Virtual Reality,” the cover story of the August 2020 issue of ACN. In this feature article by freelance writer Leah Lawrence, health care providers discussed the almost overnight adoption of telemedicine at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and their hopes for its future.

These achievements are due in large part to readers’ enthusiastic response to the content we provide. Thank you for your continued engagement and support of the publication!


2022 ASH Honorific Awards

ASH is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Honorific Awards.

These, the Society’s most prestigious awards, are presented each year to recognize outstanding hematologists who have made significant con-tributions to the field.

The ASH Honorific Awards are:

  • ASH Award for Leadership in Promoting Diversity
    Honors those who have supported the development of an inclusive hematology workforce or whose work has aimed to eliminate health disparities in the care of hematology patients.
  • ASH Mentor Awards
    Honors two outstanding mentors in the areas of basic science, clinical investigation, education, or clinical/community care.
  • E. Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize
    Recognizes pioneering research achievements in hematology that have represented a paradigm shift or significant discovery in the field.
  • Ernest Beutler Lecture and Prize
    Honors two individuals, one for enabling advances in basic science and the other for using clinical science or translational research to make tangible improvements in patient care.
  • Henry M. Stratton Medal
    Honors two senior investigators whose contributions to both basic and clinical/translational hematology research are well recognized and have taken place over a period of several years.
  • Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology
    Recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a lasting commitment to the field of through outstanding contributions to education, research, and practice.
  • William Dameshek Prize
    Recognizes an early- or mid-career individual who has made recent outstanding contributions to hematology that have led to a new fundamental understanding of the field.

Submit a nomination by July 15 at hematology.org/awards/honorific.